Kate Callaghan is a holistic nutritionist, personal trainer and lifestyle coach who also happens to live in one of my favourite places in the world – Wanaka, New Zealand. Kate specialises in hormone healing and it was her own journey from healing a body that was infertile (due to hypothalamic amenorrhea) that lead her to doing the amazing work she does today.
Kate helps women heal from hormone imbalances so that they can thrive, not just survive. She has also just published her first book and she tells us a little more about it in this interview. I know you will enjoy both Kate’s story and her message for you all.
For my readers who may not know you I’d love for you to start by telling us who you are, what you do and how you are making a big impact in the world right now.
I am an Australian holistic nutritionist, dietitian and personal trainer currently living in beautiful Wanaka, New Zealand, with my husband, daughter and cat (yes, I’m a crazy cat lady. I’d love a dog but we’re currently renting. Boo!). I specialise in women’s hormonal health – I help women optimise their wellbeing through food, movement, stress management and self-love for lifelong health, happiness and hotness!
I know that several years ago you were in a completely different space health wise than you are now. You describe yourself as having been a little ball of muscle with the ‘ideal’ body, but while you looked the part on the outside there was chaos inside. Can you tell us a little more about what was going on for you at this time, how you felt physically and emotionally, and how it was impacting your life?
Ahh yes – COMPLETELY different space! I was a group fitness instructor – exercising was what I did for a living, but I took it to the extreme and did not fuel my body appropriately (pretty hard to do when you’re doing up to 16 hours of hard-core exercise a week!). Basically my body fat was too low (that’s how I had a very definite six-pack for abs), I was under-eating, over-exercising and taking on too much psychological stress, which culminated in my reproductive system shutting up shop. I was diagnosed with hypothalamic amenorrhea which, in very simple terms, means my brain decided that is was not an ideal time for reproduction (as it sensed I was in a “famine” of sorts), so it shut off communication to my ovaries – my period stopped and I became infertile.
How did I FEEL? Well, despite having the “ideal” body, I felt like crap. I had low energy, no libido, I was moody – it wasn’t pretty. Emotionally I was a wreck. We wanted to start a family; however the doctors were saying that this would not be possible to do without medication….all because of how I had treated my body over the years.
This was obviously the catalyst for a huge change in lifestyle for you. Can you tell us about the healing journey you went through and how it has influenced the work that you do now?
Absolutely a huge kick in the rear-end! In order to heal from hypothalamic amenorrhea and restore my period I had to eat more, exercise less and manage my stress, which seems easy in theory, but in reality it was much harder. My body had, in a sense, become my identity. I was known as “abs” to some people. I had women coming up to me everyday asking how they could look like me.
Mentally, it was a huge hurdle to get over. However, my reasons for doing so were pretty significant – I was infertile, wanted to have a baby (at the age of 27), my bone density was not great and I didn’t want to find myself in a wheelchair with osteoporosis by the time I was 40.
So I made the changes – slowly, but surely. I cut down my exercise, I increased my food intake, and I incorporated daily stress management techniques. However the most important change I made, that made all of the other changes possible, was treating myself with love and respect – every single minute of every single day.
You have also just written a book, which is very exciting! Can you tell us about the book, whom you have written it for and how it is going to change the lives of those that read it?
YES! My book “Holistic Nutrition: Eat Well, Train Smart and Be Kind to Your Body” is all about how to get your hormones in their happy place by adopting simple strategies around food, movement, stress management and self-love for long-term health and happiness!
In my book you will discover that, whatever you particular goal might be – from boosting fertility, losing body fat, gaining some muscle, reducing bloating, sleeping better, increasing energy or not worrying all the time about what you are eating – you will need to understand and get control over your hormones.
Why? Because your hormones control pretty much everything in your body and brain – from how you look (including your ability to maintain a healthy weight), to how you feel, to how easily you fall pregnant. They can even play a role in whether you cruise or struggle through menopause. Hormones are the thing. You need to keep them happy if you want to be happy!
Who is it for? Women! All women! Seriously – there is not a single woman who has come into my practice (or even that I have met on the street) who has their hormone health sorted. There is a lot of misinformation out there and I want to help dispel it and provide realistic and sustainable alternatives (which means no more deprivation and no more self-hate).
What do you believe the ‘key’ to healing is?
Ooh – I think looking at things from a holistic point of view and nourishing yourself on all levels is really key. So that means nutrient-dense foods, biologically appropriate movement, daily stress management, good quality sleep and loads and loads of self-love and kindness.
Also realising that there is no “one-size-fits-all” – what works for Susie next door won’t necessarily work for you. And what works for Johnny down the road DEFINITELY won’t work for you (I talk about in my book how what works for men often does not work for women and what to do instead). It is also important to acknowledge that what works for you now might not necessarily work for you in the future. You need to be adaptable – listen to your body and don’t be afraid to change paths if your current one isn’t cutting the mustard.
If you could give my readers, who may be just starting out on their own healing journey, one piece of advice what would it be?
Start with self-love. Once you love and respect yourself everything else falls into place. If you do not love yourself you are not likely to nourish yourself with good food, kind thoughts, appropriate exercise and regular R&R. Start with self-love, people.
What truly inspires you in both your life and your work?
So much! I am inspired by the incredible journeys of my clients and the women who email me on a daily basis to tell me how happy (or pregnant) they have become as a result of treating their body better.
I am inspired by other women working in the same field as me.
I am inspired by my friends.
I am inspired by my daughter, Olivia – her complete and utter innocence, with so much potential. She inspires me every day to do better and to be better.
And if my readers would love to connect with you and support you in the work you do, where is the best place for them to start?
I would love that! I can be found here:
Facebook: The Holistic Nutritionist (@KateCallaghanNutritionist)
Thanks Nicola! Xx
Kate is a holistic nutritionist, dietitian, international speaker, personal trainer and mother of one, living in Wanaka, New Zealand. Kate is the author of “Holistic Nutrition: Eat Well, Train Smart & Be Kind to Your Body”. Having experienced hormonal chaos and infertility, and managing to heal herself naturally, Kate is passionate about healing women’s hormones and fast-tracking them to health, happiness and hotness through nutrient-dense foods, rejuvenating movement, unconditional self-love, and mindful and sustainable practices. You can find Kate through her website www.theholisticnutritionist.com, or via her social media:
This month I was delighted to be able to interview the lovely Karen Meyer from Heartfelt Jewellery. Karen is one of the nicest people I know and I have truly appreciated her support for both my business and me over the past year. So in return I wanted to tell you a little bit about the woman behind Heartfelt Jewellery, as well as give you the chance to win one of her beautiful necklaces (just keep reading to find out how).
Karen & I hope you enjoy this interview just as much as we have loved sharing it with you. So lets get started …
For my readers who may not know you I’d love for you to start by telling us who you are, what you do and how you’re making a big impact in the world right now?
My name is Karen and I am the proud designer and owner of Heartfelt Jewellery. It’s a place where you can purchase meaningful jewellery for yourself or your loved ones. My creations empower people to blossom into their true self, and keeps them on track to live a life filled with gratitude and soul.
On your website you say that the core of Heartfelt Jewellery is to ‘Be True To You’, and always live life your way. Can you share with us how you incorporate this value into your own life and business?
I incorporate ‘being true to me’ into my life by making decisions on what I need, and not what others want me to be doing. It’s taken me a long time to be in a place of feeling that I have the right to decide how my life plays out, rather than it being dictated by others opinions.
With my business, I stay true to me by showing the world the real me (no holds barred) through Social Media. I’m authentic with the way I interact with others and with what I post on my Instagram page.
My jewellery is also a representation of different parts of my life and what I’ve learnt. Showing my truth through my designs keeps me on track with staying true to me and hopefully will encourage others to live their truth as well.
I know you make your jewellery with love to be an inspirational reminder. What is the reminder that you want those that wear your jewellery to know?
That they are in control of their lives and are the only ones that can make their dreams happen. Each person needs to step up, own their decisions and celebrate every single part of their wonderful self every day – no more being ashamed of their uniqueness.
Can you share with us a photo of your favourite piece of jewellery and the inspiration behind it?
Wow! That’s a hard one to answer because each time I create a new design it becomes my favourite. Hmmmm……I feel a bit like what I imagine a Mum would feel choosing a favourite child but here goes nothing.
The ‘Life’s Journey’ bracelet was the very first piece I created using natural beads and is made with Malachite beads and Swarovski Crystals. The bracelet means to embrace your life with joy! Look back at your past with gratitude for lessons learned, appreciate the here and now, and look towards your future with hope.
This design was actually inspired by a friend and her positive attitude towards the hard times life was throwing at her. It’s my go-to gratitude tool and makes me smile with pride when wearing it.
I’d also love to know who, or what, truly inspires you in both your life and work?
There are so many amazing people I’ve encountered that have and continue to inspire me every day, so it’s difficult for me to pick just one. However in saying that … anyone that jumps over life’s difficult hurdles, learns something from those hard times and uses those lessons to better themselves, and make positive change, is completely inspirational to me.
I must say that I admire my husband more than he will ever know. From day one he has encouraged and supported me in every way he can. The proud look that comes beaming out of his eyes when introducing me as his wife fills my heart with happiness. He has never doubted or questioned me, not for even one minute, and when you have someone like that cheering you on you know that you have a one in a million guy. Sorry ladies but I’m keeping this amazing man forever.
I often purchase jewellery as an act of self-care. It’s just one way I show myself some love and remind myself that it is ok to do something nice for myself. I’d love to know what your favourite self-care practice is?
Admittedly self care has never been an easy thing for me as I tend to feel guilty when practicing it. There was a time where I made myself believe that I wasn’t worthy of taking time out for myself, as there were people around me that worked so much harder and were more deserving of doing so. I was afraid of being perceived as lazy.
Although I still need gentle and loving nudges from others to put things aside, and focus on what my body and mind needs from me, I have become a lot better in dedicating time for a bit of self loving (said she who is meant to be having a self care week, with no business stuff whatsoever, and is instead currently typing up answers to this interview *looks sheepish*).
Now back to the question at hand … my favourite self care practices are: reading as it gets me out of my ‘constant thinking and creating’ for just a bit; chilling at home with my husband with no Social Media or technology in sight; and having a good old yarn while playing board games or snuggling into the lounge together. Taking a bath is also a good way for me to zone out.
If there was one message you would like to share with everyone today, what would it be?
I suppose if there’s one life lesson I’ve learnt, and would like to share with everyone, it’s do not let your fears get in the way of trying new things or going for your dreams. By creating ‘Heartfelt Jewellery’ I’ve learnt things about myself that I wouldn’t have discovered if I hadn’t turned off the ‘you will fail’ tape, that was on a continuous loop in my head, and charged ahead with my idea.
And if people would love to connect with you, and support you in the work you do, where is the best place for them to find you?
Heartfelt Jewellery has a website (www.heartfeltjewellery.com.au) with a contact page so please feel free to send me an email. When visiting the website you can also sign up to the Heartfelt Jewellery newsletter which gives you exclusive offers throughout the year. How cool is that?!
If you would like to keep in the know with what’s happening with Heartfelt Jewellery, then head on over to my Instagram account at www.instagram.com/heartfeltjewellery
Your Chance To Win!
For your chance to win one of Karen’s beautiful ‘Soul Connection’ necklaces just tell me in the comments below what your favourite piece of jewellery and why. The lucky person to win this necklace will be contacted on Saturday the 30th of July via email.
And finally, I would love for you to tell us the meaning behind the ‘Soul Connection’ necklace?
Soul Connection: Soul sisters are by our side through thick and thin. They are our rock to steady us and our wings to lift us up towards our dreams. These soulful women celebrate others.
Amethyst represents selflessness, strength and inner peace, and these are the exact qualities that all soul sisters possess. This stone is known for it’s powerful spirituality and protecting it’s wearer.
Wanting to help women become their best selves and celebrate how special they are, Karen created Heartfelt Jewellery around ten months ago. Her pieces are full of meaning, made with so much love and would be a perfect tool to remind anyone that they can achieve anything that they put their mind too. Heartfelt Jewellery has become a blessing in Karen’s life and she cherishes every moment that she gets to do work that lights her up every day.
Often when we think of self care practices we automatically start imaging hours set aside for manicures, pedicures, facials and massages. And while these things sound lovely not many of us have the time to commit to these on a regular basis. But what if self care was actually simpler than that? What if you thought of self care as the small things you did throughout your day that make you feel better on an ongoing basis?
A few months ago I created a ‘Self Care Menu’ for myself that includes all those little things that help me feel more calm, centred and focused throughout my day, and I try and do at least three of them on a daily basis. Today I am going to share with you what my ‘Self Care Menu’ looks like and I’m going to encourage you to create one of your own:
- Lighting a candle while having a shower, rather than turning on all the lights.
- Setting my alarm five minutes earlier to do some deep breathing. This also stops my mind from automatically going into 5th gear and fretting about my to-do list for the day.
- Dry body brushing for a couple of minutes before I get in the shower.
- Slowly converting all my body and hair products to natural or organic.
- Closing the door while brushing my teeth.
- Closing my eyes and taking some deep breaths while the kettle is boiling.
- Giving my dogs a big cuddle before I go to work and when I get home.
- Listening to inspiring podcasts while I’m on my way to work.
- Buying some crystals and a potted plant for my desk at work, and at home.
- Drinking 2L of water a day.
- Placing my favourite positive affirmations and quotes on the wall above my workspace.
- Getting up, moving around and stretching every two hours.
- Spending my lunch times getting outside, talking to a friend or journaling.
- Sitting outside for five minutes when I get home in the fresh air, or playing with my dogs in the backyard.
- Preparing dinner slowly and mindfully.
- Pouring a wine and spending 15 minutes fully present and catching up with my fiancé once we are both home.
- Curling up on the couch, or in bed, and catching up on my favourite television series.
- Going to bed 15 minutes early to read a chapter of my book.
- Listening to a podcast or my favourite music while doing the housework.
- Buying fresh flowers each week to place on the dining room table.
- Buying fresh and organic produce as much as I am able to.
- Not setting an alarm on the weekends if I don’t have to be anywhere.
- Honouring Sundays as the day where we make no plans and just ‘go with the flow’.
- Spending quality time on the weekend with my fiancé – whether it’s curling up on the couch with a platter to watch the rugby, or heading out for a walk or swim with our dogs.
- Doing one thing on the weekend that is simply for me.
These are all small self care practices that I can very easily fit into my days without having to carve out huge chunks of time. They are simple, easy to implement and all nourish my body, mind or soul.
I truly believe it is the small things that we do regularly that have the biggest impact on our health and wellbeing in the long-term. It is so much easier to start small, and add things in one step at a time, than it is to overhaul your whole life all at once.
So, now it’s your turn! This week I want you to write your own ‘Self Care Menu’. Try and come up with ten things that you can implement into your days to start showing yourself a little more self-love, time and space. Once you are consistently doing these then you can add to your list over time.
I would love to hear what your favourite self care practices are, so please share them with me in the comments below. And if you have enjoyed this blog post then I’d love to be able to send my future posts straight to your inbox so you never miss one. All you need to do is click here (or on the picture below) and you’re on the list!
And as my way of saying thank you for your support, I will send you my eBook, ‘Breathe, Feel & Ask’. In this book you will find a simple technique that will help you begin to strengthen the connection between your mind and body. Plus, it’s a great little self care practice that you can add to your list!
Yours in Healing & Health,
PS. If you know of someone who you think would love to read this post then I would be honoured if you shared it with them.
I have only recently discovered the gorgeous girls from Wabi Sabi Well and have been diving into all the goodness that you can find on their website.
Today I am bringing you my interview with Caitlin Nowland, one half of the beauty and brains behind this revolutionary mixture of yoga, meditation and personal training. I wanted to share Caitlin’s story with you as I love how raw and honest she is with sharing her own personal journey of self-healing with her body. We both hope you enjoy it as well. So let’s dive in …
For my readers who may not know you I’d love for you to start by telling us who you are, what you do and how you are making a big impact in the world right now?
I’m originally from the U.S. but I now live in Byron Bay, Australia with my husband Loren and our two little wildlings, Oliver and Isla and our dog Tui. Along with my business partner Brieann, I am co-creator of Wabi-Sabi Well– a comprehensive, holistic formula fusing metabolism-boosting movement, yoga, mindfulness, bioenergetic techniques, meditation and deep relaxation. The method integrates not just the physical, but also the emotional and spiritual elements to help you reconnect and return to a healthy state of balance, harmony and well being.
I’m really interested in knowing where the name Wabi Sabi Well came from. Can you share with us what Wabi Sabi means and how you integrate the philosophy behind it’s meaning into the work that you do?
Yes! The word wabi-sabi is steeped in meaning. Here’s the scoop. Back in the day, (we’re talking 16th century) a Japanese Tea Master named Sen no Rikyu tasked his son with tending to the garden. The boy undertook the assignment with zeal, cleaning up all of the debris in the garden, polishing each stone, raking the ground until it was flawless, tidy. Perfect. Rikyu stepped back and surveyed his son’s work. Rikyu approached a cherry tree and shook it so that a few bright blossoms spilled randomly, disheveling the perfectly manicured garden. This is the spirit of wabi-sabi. Striking a balance between immaculate perfection and the authenticity and natural beauty of imperfection.
Wabi stems from the root “wa” and refers to harmony, peace, tranquility and balance. Poetically, it means simple and in tune with nature. Sabi translates to “the bloom of time.” Wabi-sabi then, is the art of seeing beauty in impermanence and imperfection – in revering authenticity above all else.
Wabi-Sabi Well is our business name, but it also describes our philosophy and way of being in the world. It’s a willingness to accept things as they are and find wisdom in nature. It is an invitation to shift your focus from doing to being, from perfecting to embracing, from conflict to connection. It’s a clarion call to loosen your grip and reframe the way you see yourself and the world around you. We believe that it’s the secret to a lasting, harmonious relationship with yourself.
You have obviously discovered the key to your own physical, emotional and spiritual wellness. But I know that you have had quite a journey, particularly with your body, to get to the place you are at now. Can you share with us a little bit about your story and what drove you to dive deep into the world of health and wellness?
Like everyone, my backstory has a lot to do with the path that I’m on. Like so many girls, in my teenage years I struggled with an eating disorder and depression. Binging, purging, calculus level calorie counting, obsessively exercising, yep, yep, yep. Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt. Midway through my freshman year in college, my grades were picture-perfect, my diet was calculated down to the square root of sweet f all and my body (and personality) had all but faded away. My family intervened and I withdrew from classes to seek help. Psychologists and psychiatrists and prescriptions helped bridge the gap, but one day I woke up and couldn’t tell how I felt. Through the fog of anti-depressants and mood regulators, I just couldn’t feel…anything.
I realised that in my case (and I GET that this isn’t the case for everyone) that I had to decide to be happy. I had to wake up and fight for it every day by making decisions and choices that contributed to happiness. I didn’t know how to do this, I didn’t have the tools. At all. But I decided I’d just figure it out. Unwinding negative patterns and obsessive behaviour? It ain’t easy, sister. I’m sure many of you know that all too well.
Simultaneously, in the space of 4 years I contracted mononucleosis, Epstein Barr virus, Dengue Fever and finally, Lyme Disease. These diseases literally brought me to my knees and changed my life forever. For the better. I know that sounds weird, but it’s true.
I was battered, bruised, broken and depleted on pretty much every level possible. I had some serious healing to do. As I slowly rebuilt my immune system over the next 10 years I happily committed to whatever it took – antibiotics, Chinese medicine, homeopathy, naturopathy, vitamin injections, IVs, hot baths, ginger tea and wet socks, GI tests, Vitamin C flushes, elimination diets, you name it, I did it. Fully. Committed.
But what I struggled with was slowing down. I derived my sense of happiness and self worth through what I could control and what I could achieve. Throwing myself into work, smashing sales targets, never turning off, having my iPhone permanently attached to my hand, multitasking like my life depended on it, hair always perfectly coiffed, cultivating Barbi feet by wearing high heels (always), networking, hosting fundraisers, overdoing the whole social butterfly thing… It’s an attitude and a canon of behaviour that our society champions. Dream, believe… but mostly, bust your butt and achieve. Because you’re simply not enough just as you are. So despite all my healthy eating, supplements, treatments, et al., the Lyme Disease resurfaced. Something was missing from my heal-thyself strategy.
Ironically, the last piece of the puzzle wasn’t to do with my physical body in a direct sense. The last piece of the puzzle was a major mental shift. Getting out of the Type-A, achievement addicted, adrenal state. Transitioning from always DOING – always feeding my need to achieve (and temporarily soothing my sense of “I am not enough”) – to just BEING. Simply slowing down sealed the deal for my body and mind to realign and get back on track. Which has in turn, allowed me to manifest a truly fulfilling life.
What would you say the hardest part of your journey was and what work did you need to do to overcome this?
Slowing down, stressing less, trusting more. It’s an ongoing commitment, an ongoing learning curve. Like all chronic over-achievers, I still have to be super conscious of staying in the slow lane on a day to day basis. For me meditation is absolutely key.
What do you believe the ‘key’ to healing is?
Finding the underlying cause of your pain. You have to feel it to heal it. As author Rhonda Britten puts it, “the feeling you’re afraid to feel is running your life.” I believe that the antidote to any negative feeling is to feel it completely, acknowledge it, invite it in for tea. Hold space, raise the curtain and give the feeling the mic. Listen and watch as it begins to loosen, open up and eventually dissolve. Once we can begin to identify these stories and feelings we’ve locked away and bring them into the light and look them in the eye we’re on the way to healing. This may sound like I’m speaking specifically to emotional pain but I believe that our physical pain is inextricably linked to our emotions and history.
If you could give my readers, who may be just starting out on their own healing journey, one piece of advice what would it be?
Just one! That’s tough. I’m going to cheat and give three small pieces:
1. Be holistic in your approach. Nothing is isolated, everything is connected.
2. Get a second opinion, and/or seek out help from healers that will empower your and help you address your illness or pain holistically.
3. Just. Start. Don’t get overwhelmed and give up. Start small. Listen to your intuition and pick something that feels both promising and manageable.
What truly inspires you in both your life and your work?
The inspiration in doing this work is two-fold. First, the inner work. Wabi-Sabi well was essentially born out of necessity- and it has continued to grow and evolve that way. This work is representative of a personal evolution- well two personal evolutions really! Brieann’s and mine. It’s directly born out of our own learnings, experimentations and explorations into what really works for us. So our process of creating and sharing Wabi-Sabi Well is inextricably linked to our own growth and learning. It’s a constant evolution and I do it because I love it. Because I can’t not do it. I feel compelled, cellularly. I’m naturally curious and I hunger to learn more, to expand, to evolve. So I do it because to me, our individual journeys of evolution are the most profound acts of creation. The evolution the Self is an adventure that is rich with possibility and that prospect totally ignites me.
The second point of inspiration is bringing the work out into the world and sharing our creations. It’s an honour and an incredible privilege. I want Wabi-Sabi Well to be a resource for people to tap into and it’s incredibly inspiring and affirming when people write to us to share the impact that Wabi-Sabi Well has had on them- that spurs us on to keep rolling.
And if my readers would love to connect with you and support you in the work you do, where is the best place for them to start?
Thank you! Brieann and I would love to connect with your readers. Our website is wabisabiwell.com and it’s loaded with articles, workout videos, meditations, recipes, ritual guides and more. We’ve also just launched our online Shop, which is really exciting- our workouts and meditations are available to purchase so you can download and keep them. If you’re looking for a more personalised experience you can also book in for private online personal training sessions with Brieann or have us design an affordable at-home Total Transformation program for you. You can also find us over on Instagram and Facebook.
Caitlin and I both hope you loved this interview. We would love it if you could leave us a comment below and let us know what was your favourite take-away piece from what Caitlin has shared with you today. And if you know of anyone who you think would love to know more about Caitlin and Wabi Sabi Well then please feel free to share this interview with them.
Mama, student of life, undocumented yogi, and wellbeing whizz, Caitlin Nowland lives in beautiful Byron Bay, Australia with her husband Loren and their two little wildlings, Oliver and Isla. Caitlin is co-creator of Wabi-Sabi Well.
A few weeks ago I shared an interview with the amazing Cassie Mendoza-Jones for the launch of her first book, ‘You Are Enough’. If you haven’t read the interview you can do so here.
Cassie is an author, kinesiologist and naturopath who works with women who feel stuck, unworthy and disconnected from themselves to help them increase their self-belief, elevate their thoughts and align their energy. You can learn more about Cassie’s work by visiting her gorgeous website www.elevatevitality.com.au.
Over the last few weeks I have been delving into Cassie’s new book and today I want to share with you some of the insights and ‘lightbulb’ moments that I took away. And as someone who struggles with perfectionism believe me when I say there were many!
While I am going to be focusing on perfectionism in this post, I really encourage any (all) of you that find yourself hopping on the comparison train from time to time, or who find it hard to set boundaries in your life, or who suffer from low self-worth to go out and buy this book today. You definitely won’t regret it!
My struggle with perfectionism was challenged early on in Cassie’s book when I read the following sentence:
“Please let this book be 100% yours … Dog-ear the corners of pages that you love, highlight words, phrases, sentences or whole paragraphs if they ring true for you.”
I have to admit that all the books I own look as brand new as the day I bought them. Every insight I get from a book is carefully recorded in a journal. I have never dog-earred a page or highlighted a sentence in my life. Not even in my textbooks from University. But it was obviously time to start!
At the beginning of her book Cassie shares six comparison blocks that we get caught up in. The first two had my name written all over them.
“Comparison Block #1: You compare yourself to your ‘perfect’ self”
“Comparison Block #2: You compare yourself to your ideal potential”
Before reading Cassie’s book I would have said that I didn’t suffer from ‘comparisonitis’. What I now realise is, while I may not struggle with comparing myself to others, I constantly compare myself to my ‘perfect’ or ‘ideal’ self.
From here Cassie challenged me to ask why I felt the need to push myself so hard? Why wasn’t I able to see that who I am now is enough? What Cassie helped me realise was that my constant striving for perfectionism actually masked a fear that people would think I was a fraud.
It is very easy, particularly when you work and market yourself in an online space, to feel like the whole world is watching you. This often makes me feel like I need to be living a certain way in order for people to choose to work with me. But what I now understand is … people aren’t going to work with me because I drink green juice or do yoga every day, but because the knowledge that I have as a physiotherapist and life coach can help free them of pain.
Not only has this fear been driving my relentless need for perfection, but it can also cause me to hold back from sharing my work with the world. The following questions that Cassie asks really hit home for me in relation to this:
“How scared was I of not doing the right thing? How scared was I of actually becoming successful? Was I up for the challenge? Did I want to draw attention to myself, to become visible? Did I have the confidence to lead, and to make big, bold decisions?”
What these questions made me realise is … if I am really committed to helping you learn ways to manage stress and overwhelm, to listen to the messages your body is sending you and to make self-care a priority in your life, then I have to be up for that challenge. I have to be seen. And I have to have the confidence to lead. So, thank you Cassie for giving me the permission to do so by knowing that who I am now is enough!
Managing stress and overwhelm is something that Cassie also talks about a lot in her book, along with the physical symptoms that being in a state of constant overdrive can lead to. When we constantly push ourselves to ‘do’ and ‘be’ more we forget to listen to the messages our body is sending us. Cassie is spot on when she says:
“We don’t listen to our bodies so we don’t rest when we are tired, we become mentally depleted and emotionally fragile. I see this with my clients where they push themselves through physical exhaustion to the point where they end up injured.”
Does this sound like you? My bet is that you are nodding your head right now.
Cassie also provides a wonderful set of tools to help you get unstuck, let go of what is holding you back, release the ‘old’ to make way for the ‘new’ and start living a life free of comparison. Her book will help you build your self-worth, self-esteem and self-acceptance and start you on an amazing journey towards living a fulfilling life.
So I really encourage you to head to Cassie’s website (www.elevatevitality.com.au) today to grab your own copy of ‘You Are Enough’. I promise it will be a game-changer. And if you have already read Cassie’s book I would love for you to share your own insights with me in the comments below.
Yours in Healing & Health,
PS. My guess is that you will know of at least one person who you think would benefit from reading Cassie’s book as well, so please feel free to share this post with them.
Have you ever looked at someone and thought, ‘they look like they are carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders’? But have you ever stopped and wondered what it was about that person that made you think that?
“She wasn’t doing a thing that I could see, except standing there, leaning on the balcony railing, holding the Universe together”
Our posture can communicate as much about how we are feeling as our facial expressions. Take a moment to think about the following two scenarios.
When something exciting happens that makes you feel on top of the world, how do you find your body reacting? Do you stand taller? Do you hold your head higher? Do you feel lighter?
What about when you are tired, stressed or something bad happens? How does your posture change? Do you carry your shoulders lower? Maybe you feel heavier?
The body language of your shoulders gives away more than you think. So does shoulder pain.
Connecting physical pain with emotional wellbeing isn’t a new concept. But as we move into an age of spiritual awakening, and a growing health and wellness movement, the concept has become less ‘woo-woo’.
For decades writers, such as Louise Hay, have talked about the strong connection between shoulder pain and the emotional burdens that we carry. Women, in particular, store a lot in their shoulders.
Shoulder tightness and pain is the most common complaint I see in clinical practice by far. And nine times out of ten of my patients with shoulder pain are women. When I start talking with these women about their daily lives one thing becomes abundantly clear. They are either carrying the emotional weight of others in their lives, or the emotional weight of themselves.
The right and left shoulders have different energies and they communicate very different things to us. If you understand how the brain works, it is just the same.
The right side of your body is your masculine side, or your Yang energy. It is more rational, logical, assertive and tends to hold anger. The right shoulder is associated with your Outer World and carries the weight of others emotional needs.
The left side of your body is your feminine side, or your Yin energy. It is more intuitive, receptive, passive and tends to hold sadness. The left shoulder is associated with your Inner World and carries the weight of our emotional needs.
So, if you are experiencing shoulder pain, tightness or discomfort right now I want you to ask yourself the following questions. I would also encourage you to set some time aside to journal on each of them as it is a wonderful way to begin seeing things a little clearer.
- Is your life stressful at the moment, and what is causing you to feel this way? What is one thing you can let go of, even just for now?
- Are you feeling overwhelmed by all that you have going on, and what do you keep saying ‘yes’ to that might be making you feel resentful? Do you need to keep saying ‘yes’, or is it time to begin learning how to say ‘no’.
- Are you taking on the emotional baggage of others in your life? So often we want to help or ‘fix’ those close to us, but it is important to remember that they are on their own journey.
- Are there stories from your past that you are holding on to that need to be released?
- Do you always put yourself last on your list of priorities, and how can you begin to take a little more care of yourself?
Your body is full of wisdom. It is communicating with you every day. In some instances physical pain is just that. A part of your body is injured and is painful. But at other times the pain that you are experiencing is your body telling you that something in your life needs addressing. Intuitively we usually know what that is.
So what is your shoulder pain telling you today?
It is now up to you to listen and take one small step towards healing both your emotional and physical health. Sometimes it is hard to know what step to take first. If you would like someone to talk to then I offer a free 30 minute initial consult as part of my ‘Heal Your Body’ coaching program. You can book a session by clicking here. This is just where I listen, offer my advice and if you feel guided to you can continue working with me through a three month 1:1 program. If I feel like there is a better option out there for you then I will tell you, but I will always provide you with as much support as you need during our cal together.
And please feel free to share with me any ‘aha’ moments that you have had while reading through this post in the comments below. I always love to hear from you.
Yours in Healing & Health,
PS. If you know of someone who you think may just need to read this post today then please feel free to share it with them.